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Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Duke Mitchell’s ‘Gone With The Pope’

In Crime and noir fiction, Exploitation, Grindhouse, Movies on February 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Press Release

Grindhouse Releasing Presents Duke Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE POPE

World Premiere March 12 at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre

LOS ANGELES – Grindhouse Releasing and the American Cinematheque will present the late, great Duke Mitchell’s never-before-seen masterpiece GONE WITH THE POPE on Friday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Duke Mitchell was an Italian Rudy Ray Moore, a popular nightclub performer, singer, actor, and self-proclaimed “Mr. Palm Springs” whose long-running Martin & Lewis-style comedy act with partner Sammy Petrillo was featured in BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA. Mitchell went on to use his talents and show business connections to produce two of the most entertaining films of the Seventies, which he wrote, directed, produced, scored and starred in.

GONE WITH THE POPE stars Duke Mitchell as Paul, a gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the pope and charge “a dollar from every Catholic in the world” as the ransom. Shot in 1975 as KISS THE RING, GONE WITH THE POPE was unfinished at the time of Duke Mitchell’s death in 1981.

Sage Stallone and Bob Murawski of Grindhouse Releasing rediscovered GONE WITH THE POPE in 1995 and vowed to save it from obscurity. Academy Award-winning film editor Murawski (THE HURT LOCKER, SPIDER-MAN 1,2 & 3) spent 15 years completing GONE WITH THE POPE from the surviving film elements.

“Of all the films I have been involved with, the one that I am most proud of is GONE WITH THE POPE,” Murawski said. “Duke Mitchell didn’t live to see this masterpiece finished. I am honored to be the person to finish it for him. Completing this movie was a 15-year labor of love. No expense or effort was spared in rescuing this classic from cinematic oblivion and finishing it with the utmost quality. Our beautiful new 35mm print stands as a testament to Duke Mitchell’s unique and explosively entertaining vision.”

Duke Mitchell’s 1974 ultra-violent crime saga MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE will screen on the same program. Also known as LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON and THE EXECUTIONER, MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE is a homemade answer to THE GODFATHER promising “more guts, more action, more dynamite!”. Starting with Duke and his sidekick slaughtering an entire building full of enemies, the movie is nonstop, mind-blowing entertainment that has become a favorite among cult movie fans.

Grindhouse Releasing is known for its lavish restorations and roadshow-style theatrical exhibition of such notorious exploitation-horror films as CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, CANNIBAL FEROX (a.k.a. MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY), Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND and CAT IN THE BRAIN, PIECES, and I DRINK YOUR BLOOD. Grindhouse partnered with Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder to release THE BEYOND in theaters and in 2010 launched a nationwide re-release of Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD.

The address of the Egyptian Theatre is 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, between Las Palmas and McCadden, just east of Highland Avenue in Hollywood.

This exclusive screening will include an in-person Q& A with the cast and crew of GONE WITH THE POPE. The movie will move on to screenings in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, and other U.S. cities.

For more information, visit and For stills and press, e-mail David Szulkin at

See the amazing GONE WITH THE POPE trailer at

GONE WITH THE POPE Poster by Stephen Romano

The Disassembled Man

In Books, Crime and noir fiction on August 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm


Nate Flexer’s The Disassembled Man is a hot mean streak of a novel that gleefully descends into howling, fiery hell.

Influenced by Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me), The Disassembled Man tells the first-person story of a slaughterhouse worker who rebels against his dead-end existence in a rampage of violent crime.

The book begins with a punch to the face and leaves the reader battered all the way to its nihilistic climax. It’s abrasive, vulgar, surreal, and profane. The overall tone reminds me of Buddy Giovinazzo’s Combat Shock and Tobe Hooper’s original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). The ending is pitch-black perfect.

Indie publisher New Pulp Press followed The Disassembled Man with two more exceptionally dark, alienated crime novels: While the Devil Waits, by Jackson Meeks, and Almost Gone, by Stan Richards.


While the Devil Waits recalls Camus’ The Stranger. It opens on the unnamed narrator as he’s fired from his clerical job for making co-workers “uncomfortable”. Passively accepting his fate, the marginalized loner agrees to ride along on a petty robbery as the accomplice to a childhood friend.

The ill-conceived crime turns into a killing spree that takes him across the country and lands him in a prison cell. The narrator’s maladjusted, detached personality makes the book bleak and compelling.


Evocative of James Ellroy, Almost Gone is about an alcoholic cop investigating his own mother’s murder. When he suffers a brain injury in a car accident, he begins to flash on suppressed memories that suggest he might have been the killer.

Tormented and boiling with anger, the protagonist jabs his skin with rusty nails to stop his bad thoughts…but the ugly Oedipal trauma of his past won’t stay buried. In a bruising, booze-soaked downward spiral, he confronts the unpleasant truth.

Highly recommended, harsh stuff. For more info on these and other upcoming titles, visit New Pulp